Evaluation of reusable cardboard box designs: Biomechanical and perceptual aspects
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Reusable cardboard boxes can be ergonomically designed for internal transportation of dry products in industrial settings. In this study we compared the effects of handling a regular commercial box and two cardboard prototypes on upper limb postures through the evaluation of movements, myoelectrical activity, perceived grip acceptability and capacity for reuse. The ergonomic designs provided a more acceptable grip, safer wrist and elbow movements and lower wrist extensors and biceps activity. Biomechanical disadvantages were observed only for one of the prototypes when handling to high surface. The prototypes were durable and suitable for extensive reuse (more than 2000 handlings) in internal industrial transportation. Despite being slightly more expensive than regular cardboard, the prototypes showed good cost-benefit considering their high durability. Relevance to industry: Cardboard boxes can be efficiently redesigned for allowing safer upper limb movements and lower muscle workload in manual materials handling. New designs can also be extensively reused for internal industrial transportation with good cost-benefit. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.